I haven't posted much about the craziness that has been my life for the last month and for good reason, I guess. Most of it has been just stinky! Those of you that are close, know VERY well what I mean and I'm sure are yelling a loud "Amen" at your computer screen!
I was back South for one whole day from my trip North before I had to board a plane and go back to be with family that were in a difficult time.
As I was shuttling toward the airport this last week from the rental car place, getting ready to board to come back South, the shuttle attendant ask me the question, "Are you leaving home or going home?"
I actually sat puzzled for a minute. "Um...Well..both."
The definition of home these last few years has been tricky for me. Is it here?..Is it there? Where do I want it to be? Am I being disloyal by claiming one MORE home than the other?
My flight from Washington-Dulles got delayed and what should have been a southern arrival of 11:10pm transformed into a 2:30 am flight arriving at 4:00 am. I've never flown at night and at that hour nearly everyone on the plane was asleep. It was eerie at first, being in an enclosed place so high up in the air in darkness, but I realized as I began to relax that it was the first moment in days that I was experiencing utter silence.
I didn't like it.
It was in that hour and a half that I began to feel the burden of what everyone back home was going through and my own sadness to say good-bye ONCE AGAIN and I began to cry.
I really worried the flight attendant who stopped four times by my seat offering to do anything to make me feel better.
I was remembering a talk I had had earlier with a good friend that week..a friend that was sad and confused and frankly, lost. I said to him, "All that really matters in this life are the people God gives us. The people we love and the people that need love...making good, solid choices and putting aside our own wants and needs for the needs of others."
I know that is not the speech that Oprah would give out. She would tell you to invest into yourself and love yourself first. She would tell you to do what makes you happy. What she doesn't know is that it is in that sacrificial love that we find ourselves living out our intended purpose and that brings about a fulfillment that far exceeds basic happiness. It may not play out the way we thought it would but we have to choose to believe it will end far and away better than we could ever imagine.
I guess I discovered on both of my trips that "home" is not a place. It's not a house or an address. It's not confined to a state. It's not even limited to relatives.
Home is the unconditional investment that you make into people that you love. It's the sense of belonging. It's 8 friends gathered around a table eating dinner or a grammy looking at bugs with a little boy. It's celebrating a new member of a family or sipping Mountain Dews on a couch together. It's knowing when to jump in and when to stay away. It's being around for each other when life is a holiday or a heartbreak.
It's the people you love.
That's what home is.